I'm a complete newbie

Hobbits Mommie

Songster
Sep 21, 2018
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Lakeland, FL
@Chickenchic49 Welcome to BYC, and Hurricane Central, LOL. I'd say the first priority is to make sure that you have a predator proof coop and run, because everything loves chicken, not just us. There are plenty of good ideas on this site, but the key is to have any open areas covered in 1/4" hardware cloth which needs to be dug into the ground about a foot to keep out diggers.

Second, you don't want just one chicken, they need friends.

Decide what you will use them for. If you want pets, research the friendliest breeds. If you want eggs, research which ones will produce the eggs you want.

You'll also need to think about bedding materials, waterers, feeders.

Baby chicks need to be on chick starter food, and at about 21 + weeks when they begin to lay eggs, you'll switch over to a layer feed (or whatever you decide on but you have to make sure they have enough protein, etc.)

Then, get your babies, sit back & enjoy. Good luck to you.

This is what I have for 5 chickens, which is probably twice as big as they need.
 

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Pork Pie

Flockwit
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feathermaid

Egg Obsessed
Feb 5, 2018
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I'm glad you're thinking about starting a wonderful new adventure with chickens! You definitely should have more than one... 3 is a perfect amount to start with. Chickens are flock animals and thrive amongst their own kind. There have been some people who keep a single house chicken, but it will likely have to wear diapers, and egg laying does complicate things.

Bantam breeds or silkies are small and easy to manage in a simple prefab coop available at most farm and feed stores, but there might be a few modifications necessary. Even standard size birds can fit as long as you don't have more than just a few. These articles will help you stay on the right track:

The Essential Beginners Guide to Backyard Chickens

How Much Room Do Chickens Need

Chicken Coop Ventilation - Go Out There And Cut More Holes In Your Coop!

Predator Proofing
 

NHMountainMan

Free Ranging
Feb 25, 2019
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Advice from a recent newbie: as your are planning your coop, anticipate that you're going to love this new hobby, and the few chicks you plan on today may become a dozen before long. Better to plan in advance. The experienced people on this site talk about chicken math. I laughed at first that it would never be me, but now I'm looking at a second coop and many more chickens.
 

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